Top 20 Albums
1. Helloween – My God Given Right (Nuclear Blast)
2015 was a superb 30th anniversary for one of my all-time favourite bands. The start of a world tour, a massive (550+ page) 30th anniversary coffee-table book AND their best album in several years. MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT has it all… speed, power, melody, humour making me realize that it is my god given obligation to rank this as my #1 album!
2. Stratovarius-Eternal (EarMusic)
3. Stryper-Fallen (Frontiers)
4. Gloryhammer-Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards (Napalm)
5. Royal Hunt-The Devil’s Dozen (Frontiers)
6. Saxon-Battering Ram (UDR)
7. Serious Black-As Daylight Breaks (AFM)
8. Kamelot-Haven (Napalm)
9. Cain’s Offering-Stormcrow (Frontiers)
10. Eclipse-Armageddonize (Frontiers)
11. Angra-Secret Garden (Ear music)
12. Blind Guardian-Beyond The Red Mirror (Nuclear Blast)
13. W.A.S.P.-Golgotha (Napalm)
14. Armoured Saint-Win Hands Down (Metal Blade)
15. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody-Prometheus (Nuclear Blast)
16. Nightwish-Endless Froms Most Beautiful (Nuclear Blast)
17. Blackwelder-Survival Of The Fittest (Golden Core)
18. Melechesh-Enki (Nuclear Blast)
19. Powerwolf-Blessed And Possessed (Napalm)
20. Europe-War Of Kings (Frontiers)
Best Live Album
U.D.O-Metal Navy Night (AFM)
Messenger-Captain’s Loot (Massacre Records)
Best Remake album
Iron Savior-Megatropolis 2.0 (AFM)
Best Covers album
Powerwolf-Metallum Nostrum (Napalm)
Helloween – Hellbook
Best local band
Hrom -Legend of Powerheart Part I (indie)
I saw over 100 bands this year so this one was hard to decide. Rush on the R40 tour, lots of killer local bands in local bars, but it is probably a tie between Blind Guardian (5th time) and Grave Digger (1st time) or maybe GWAR (4th time).
Best new band
Blackwelder-Survival Of The Fittest (Golden Core)
Predictions for 2015
W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless decides to release the mountain of archived footage (and the long-lost Japanese only video collection) in a cool, historical 3+ DVD set. Blackie also finishes his autobiography he has been rumored to have working on for years. (Carried over from 2010, again).
Matos rejoined Viper. Can Viper make good Power Metal record again like they did in the 80’s? (Carried over from 2013).
Most Anticipated Albums
1. Marius Danielson-The Legend Of Valley Doom featuring past or present members of Almah, Angra, Dark Moor, Dragonland, Fairyland, Falconer, Iced Earth, Iron Mask, Judas Priest, Manowar, Metalium, Savatage, Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Zandelle and more.
2.. New Yngwie J. Malmsteen.
3. New Metal Church with Mike Howe